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The ultimate guide to protein supplements

Flip through any exercise magazine and, judging by all the attention protein supplements get, it appears protein and fitness somehow go hand-in-hand[1][2]. And it is true: Protein can help promote a healthy weight and can help muscles recover after a good workout. But what exactly is protein, and when it comes to supplements, which type of protein is best? Read on to learn about the different sources of protein powder and which ones stand apart from the rest.

Protein 101 - The Need-to-Know

Protein is a macronutrient found in many foods such as meats, dairy products, nuts, and beans, to name a few. It’s comprised of amino acids, the building blocks of lean body tissue that promote healthy skin, hair, bones, fingernails, as well as (drum roll, please) muscles[3].

While many experts suggest getting the bulk of our protein from whole food sources, protein supplements can make it easier to get those aminos on-the-go. But not all protein supplements are created equal[4]. Before dissecting the pros and cons of different protein sources it’s important to understand two ways protein supplements are often classified:

  • Protein Concentrate vs. Isolate: Protein is derived from various food sources and is “concentrated” by removing the non-protein parts. The result: a powder that’s 70-85 percent pure protein (with the remain 15-30 percent consisting mostly of carbohydrates and fat). Taking the concentration process a step further, “isolation” removes a much higher percentage of non-protein content. The additional processing yields a premium protein that is up to 95 percent pure.
  • Complete vs. Incomplete Protein: Amino acids that cannot be produced by the body are known as essential amino acids. “Complete proteins” contain all 10 essential amino acids, whereas “incomplete proteins” contain some, but not all, of the essential amino acids.

OK, now we are ready to dive into the fun stuff. Here is a detailed look at the most common protein powder supplements on the market, and what their pros and cons mean for you. 

For a complete comparison of whey protein, casein protein, egg protein, soy protein, rice protein, hemp protein, pea protein and weight gainer, go to Greatist.com.

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News

  • For the fourth time in the past six days, President Donald Trump has used his platform on Twitter to take a swing at a group of more conservative Republicans in the House, this time raising the specter of using the bully pulpit against them in the 2018 elections, if they don’t get on board with his legislative agenda. “The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast,” Trump said on Twitter. “We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!” he added. The Twitter jabs against the Freedom Caucus are becoming somewhat routine for Mr. Trump, who was frustrated that he was unable to convince those lawmakers to back a GOP health care bill last week. Even before today, those type of tweets by the President have drawn frowns from some members of the Freedom Caucus, who say they’re not budging on their conservative principles, just to give Mr. Trump a legislative victory. “I disagree with him,” Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) said earlier this week, after Mr. Trump signaled his displeasure with the Freedom Caucus opposition to the GOP health bill. “My conscience was to get rid of Obamacare; this doesn’t do it,” Yoho said of the GOP plan that had the blessing of the White House. “Some of the constant tweeting is at minimum distracting, and at maximum, counterproductive to a legislative agenda,” said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who also knocked the President for using Twitter to keep grousing as well about Hillary Clinton. “You’re fighting yesterday’s story if you are fighting against a candidate you were once running against that is no longer the candidate you might be running against,” Sanford said.
  • UVALDE, Texas (AP) - Federal investigators are getting their first look Thursday at the scene of a head-on collision involving a small church bus and a pickup truck that killed 13 senior adult church members onboard the bus.The Texas Department of Public Safety reported the lone bus survivor remains hospitalized in critical condition, and the pickup truck driver is in stable condition.The National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators to the scene to begin seeking the cause of the crash, NTSB spokesman Terry Williams said Wednesday.Twelve bus occupants, including the driver, were dead at the scene of Wednesday's crash, DPS Lt. Johnny Hernandez said. One bus passenger died later at a San Antonio hospital.The wreck happened about 12:30 p.m. on U.S. 83, a two-lane highway, outside Garner State Park in northern Uvalde County. The area is about 75 miles (120.7 km) west of San Antonio.It was not immediately clear what caused the collision about 120 miles (193.1 km) from the church, where the members were headed.Photos and video of the crash's aftermath showed heavy damage to the front drivers' sides of both vehicles where it appeared the two had collided. The back of the bus was up on a guardrail, with glass and debris scattered onto the grass below.Hein said the small bus was a 2004 Turtle Top, though he did not know the specific model. Turtle Top's website features shuttle buses with capacities ranging from 17 to 51 passengers, which they bill as 'a great alternative to the standard 15-passenger van.' Safety concerns have long surrounded the 15-passenger vans, also frequently used by churches and other groups, with advocates saying they can be difficult to control in an emergency.Church officials said in a statement on the First Baptist website that the members were returning from a three-day retreat at the Alto Frio Baptist Encampment in Leakey, about 9 miles (14.5 km) north of where the crash happened.The church officials were 'ministering to family members to help them deal with this tragedy,' according to the statement. Counselors also were scheduled to be available Thursday at the church.Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his wife, Cecilia, offered their condolences in the hours after the crash.'We are saddened by the loss of life and our hearts go out to all those affected,' their statement said. 'We thank the first responders working on the scene in the wake of this unimaginable tragedy, and ask that all Texans join us in offering their thoughts and prayers.
  • The Transportation Security Administration fired a woman responsible for screening passengers’ bags after she missed a loaded handgun Sunday morning at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Channel 2 Action News reported. Katrina Jackson of Alabama noticed her .38-caliber handgun when she later looked for her passport and immediately informed officials, according to a police report obtained by Channel 2.  MORE: Fake service animals: Why airline passengers are upset Rock star accused of bringing loaded gun to Atlanta airport CNN producer detained in Atlanta files lawsuit against immigration order TSA issued a statement to the news station. “This egregious mistake was unacceptable and the officer who was still a probationary employee was immediately and permanently separated from federal service.' Jackson was charged with illegal possession of a handgun when she said she didn’t have her permit on her.  Screeners at the airport have prevented 48 guns from going through security so far this year, Channel 2 reported. Last year, 198 guns were found at checkpoints, which is more than any other airport in the United States. Hartsfield-Jackson ranks No. 1 in guns caught by TSA in 2016
  • A principal at a Christian school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is facing child porn charges. Jeff Goss is the principal at the Christian Education Alliance in west Tulsa. Goss was arrested Tuesday morning by federal officials after they reportedly caught Goss using an online application to view child pornography. >> Watch the news report here Authorities said the application lets people enter chat rooms and share videos, pictures and more. Agents from Phoenix said Goss showed his face in the chat room, and they were able to track his IP address. Goss reportedly confessed to using the app at least five times. >> Read more trending news Agents said he preferred children ages 10 to 12 and did not care if they were girls or boys. Goss allegedly told officers that he primarily teaches children ages 12 and 13. School officials said they did not find out about the allegations against Goss until FOX23.com called them. They said he did not show up to work Wednesday. The station confirmed that he is in the Tulsa County Jail. The school's website says that it has served home-school families for more than 20 years.